I.D. (1995 film)

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ID dvd cover.jpg
Directed byPhilip Davis
Produced bySally Hibbin
Screenplay byVincent O'Connell
Story byJames Bannon
StarringReece Dinsdale
Warren Clarke
Claire Skinner
Music byWill Gregory
CinematographyThomas Mauch
Edited byInge Behrens
BBC Films
Parallax Pictures
Metropolis Filmproduktion
Hamburg Film Fund
European Co-Production Fund
Distributed byPolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • 15 May 1995 (1995-05-15)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

I.D. is a 1995 British-German film made by BBC Films about football hooliganism, directed by Philip Davis, written by Vincent O'Connell, and starring Reece Dinsdale, Sean Pertwee and Warren Clarke. It is set in the 1980s, in England, mainly London, and also shot at Millmoor and Valley Parade football grounds in Rotherham and Bradford respectively. The tagline is "When you go undercover, remember one thing... Who you are." The true events that inspired the movie are chronicled in the 2013 book Running with the Firm written by former undercover detective James Bannon. The film has a cult following, which has led to plans for the creation of an I.D themed pub in East London


John (Reece Dinsdale), an ambitious young police officer, is sent undercover to join a violent football firm associated with the fictitious club Shadwell Town to track down the 'generals' - the shadowy figures who orchestrate the violence. His team of four gradually ingratiate themselves into the lives of The Dogs, the nickname that Shadwell's fans give themselves. The main site for this is The Rock, a public house around which The Dogs' lives revolve. Gradually, the hard drinking and hard fighting macho culture - where Saturday's match and Saturday's fight are all that matters - prove strangely irresistible to John and he slowly finds himself becoming one of the thugs he has been sent to entrap.

His relationships with his wife, his superiors and even his team become strained. Eventually his wife returns to her parents' house and rebuffs his attempted reconciliation.

The police operation is abruptly wound up for budgeting reasons, just as it seems John is making progress in identifying those who pull the strings. The closing sequence shows a shaven-headed John taking part in a march. Trevor approaches him to try to help him, but is rebuffed. John says that he is, again, working undercover. There is a degree of ambiguity. His chanting at the very end makes it clear that whatever the truth, John is unable to prevent himself from sinking into his character.

The film features the fictitious teams of Shadwell Town and Wapping FC. The locations the teams are based on are real – they are neighbouring areas on the northern bank of the River Thames in London's traditional East End. It is believed that Millwall F.C was the inspiration for one team,[1] as the clubs' fans had a long-standing reputation for violence during the period which the film represents. Another possible parallel is that Shadwell are promoted to the First Division for the first time in their history towards the end of the film - Millwall were promoted to the top flight of English for the first time at the end of the 1987-88 season.[citation needed]

A sequel, with the title of ID2: Shadwell Army was released in August 2016. It was directed by Joel Novoa, and was written by Vincent O'Connell.[2][3]



  1. ^ O’Connell, Vincent. "ID". Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  2. ^ "ID2: Shadwell Army": at the BFI. Retrieved March 19 2019
  3. ^ "Vincent O'Connell ": at the BFI. Retrieved March 19 2019

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